When the state of Florida adopted the Collaborative Law Process Act last year, it became the 15th state in the nation to pass such a measure.
Signed into law last March by Gov. Rick Scott, this legislation provides a pathway for couples seeking a more civil, and far less contentious, end to their marriage. These types of processes are considered more private and offer greater confidentiality – a stark contrast to the public feeling that comes with litigated divorce.
Supporters of the signature legislation have indicated that one of the key benefits was the fact that it aims to create a more respectful process, allowing divorcing couples to end their marriage in a constructive fashion that ultimately focuses on the overall well-being of the family.
Collaborative Divorce in Florida
When a couple enters into a collaborative divorce, they are entering into a process that is based on informed agreement – unlike other divorce proceedings, which typically involve court intervention.
In a collaborative divorce, a neutral legal professional – like a mediator – is chosen to oversee the process. Depending not he situation, other neutral professionals may be retained, including mental health experts, financial advisors and appraisers. For example, in situations involving high net worth, financial advisors may be retained to ensure a full and fair agreement is reached by both parties, with respect to marital assets.
Collaborative divorce also allows couples to take more transparent approach to ending their marriage. Prior to the beginning of the collaborative divorce process, or soon after, both spouses are required to prepare and sign a thorough agreement that outlines the rules in detail, ensuring both parties are in full agreement from the onset.
If, however, the collaborative process sours and a couple opts for a litigated approach, Florida state law indicates that they cannot be represented by their collaborative process attorney. Additionally, collaborative processes that evolve into litigation cannot request depositions or testimony from professionals involved in the case, such as mental health professionals and financial experts.
Are you and your spouse looking for a collaborative divorce solution? If so, there are legal resources available to you, including the expertise of attorneys specializing in collaborative divorce proceedings. Only an attorney focused on this area of family law can assist you and protect your rights as you negotiate the dissolution of your marriage.
Finding a Collaborative Divorce Attorney
For couples residing in the greater Tampa area, the attorneys at Anton Legal Group can provide the sound legal guidance necessary when dealing with divorce. We have decades of experience in representing clients dealing with family law matters, including those dealing with a collaborative divorce.
We know that dealing with any divorce is rarely, if ever easy, but our attorneys can work closely with you and your spouse as you negotiate the end of your marriage, protecting your future interests every step of the way.
To schedule an initial consultation with a member of our legal team, we encourage you to call our law office at (813) 443-5249.